Category: Candy

Camote Cue (Caramelised Sweet Potato)

Camote Cue, photo by JMorton

Camote Cue (Caramelised Sweet Potato)

When it was merienda time (2-3pm snack time) in the Philippines, we used to queue up for the still frying caramelised sweet potato in one of the street vendors in Tondo, Manila.  It was hypnotic to watch the bubbling cooking oil as it cooks the camote.  We then had to watch how each circular slice was threaded into a wooden skewer.

This 2017 holiday in Manila, we had camote cue for snack and was surprised to be given elongated shapes sans the kebab stick.  It tasted the same but I have to admit, I miss the way you take a bite from a slice of camote from the stick.

Anyway below is a simple recipe for this delicious snack, much loved by Filipinos.

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potato, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • wooden skewer

Instructions

  1. Heat a wok or a large pan and pour the cooking oil.
  2. Carefully heat the cooking oil and then stir in the sugar.
  3. When the sugar is heated up, it begins to break down and float up.  Now add the slices of sweet potatoes.
  4. Fry each side for 7-10 minutes, allowing it to be covered with the caramelised sugar.
  5. Remove the sweet potatoes with slotted spoon from the wok and using a tong directly thread the caramelised sweet potatoes in a wooden skewer, usually three pieces in each skewer.
  6. Share and Enjoy.

Note:  Be careful in cooking this recipe.  Bubbling oil and boiling sugar are excruciatingly hot!

Candied Walnut Recipe

Walnut, photo by PH Morton

Candied Walnut Recipe

This recipe can be made using peanuts or cashew nuts as well.  Delicious munchies.

Ingredients:

1 cup ground walnuts

1 can condensed milk

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

How to make:

Mix all the ingredients together on a wok or heavy bottomed pan.

Cook over very low heat.

This will need constant stirring to prevent burning.

Cook until it has thicken.

Sprinkle sugar over a clean counter or a bread board.  Spread the milky walnuts and level with a rolling pin.

Cut into bitesize pieces and wrap in cling film or wax paper.

Enjoy!

Pili Nut Brittle ~Recipe~

Pili Nut brittle, photo by JMorton

Pili Nut brittle, photo by JMorton

In my opinion, Pili nut is the king or queen of all nuts.  Its taste is something that you will appreciate.  It is delicious, it is actually indescribable.  It is buttery and floury with its clean nuttiness, if that make sense! 🙂  Once you have tasted it, it is almost impossible not to be hooked.

We were in Bicol when I had my first taste of pili nuts courtesy of my extraordinarily generous, angelic sister, Marilou.  She said it was delicious and it was.

We bought jars of the pili nuts and loads of pili tarts.  I am afraid I did not really like the pili tarts.  I thought there were not enough pili nuts over a rather tough and chewy dough which doesn’t really taste much as it was rather bland.

Anyway, when I unpacked our luggage from the Philippines, I found a jar of the pili nut.  I started eating it while watching back-to-back episodes of The Good Wife.  Well I finished the jar before the second episode of this favourite show.

The caramelised pili nut was so good; you won’t stop at just a small handful.

It might be hard to get Pili nuts from just any shop because it is not widespreadly farmed just yet. Only the Philippines do it commercially.

Lance Catedral from Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines - pili nut

Lance Catedral from Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines – pili nut

Canarium ovatum, commonly known as pili, is a species of tropical tree belonging to the genus Canarium. It is one of approximately 600 species in the family Burseraceae. Pili are native to maritime Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea, and Northern Australia. They are commercially cultivated in the Philippines for their edible nuts. (Wikipedia)

If you happen to get lucky and find raw pili nuts, there is no better recipe to cook it with than as a Pili nut brittle.

Below is the recipe from http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Crispy-Pili

Pili Nut Brittle ~Recipe~

Pili, Photo by JMorton

Pili, Photo by JMorton

Ingredients

2 cups of raw pili nuts
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil

Part 1
Prepare the Pili nuts

  1. Boil water in a saucepan. Bring the water to a full boil.
  2. Add the Pili nuts to the boiling water.

  3. When the skin of the Pili nuts starts to peel off, stop the cooking process.

  4. Remove all of the Pili from the water.

  5. Peel the skins from the nuts.

Part 2
Cooking the Pili nuts

  1. Add vegetable oil to a clean saucepan.
  • Add the Pili nuts.

  • Fry the Pili nuts. Be sure to constantly stir the nuts while frying.

  • Add sugar when the Pili nuts are golden brown.

  • Caramelize the sugar. Allow the caramelized sugar to coat the nuts.

  • Remove the Pili nuts from the heat. Be sure they’re coated in the caramelized sugar evenly and thoroughly!

  • Let is cool; caramelised sugar is dangerously hot.

    Time to enjoy (and share?!!!)

    Macapuno Balls Recipe

    Macapuno Balls in a Bowl, Photo by JMorton

    Macapuno Balls in a Bowl, Photo by JMorton

    Macapuno balls are a popular soft candies, much loved by Balikbayans (Filipinos visiting the motherland, Philippines) to bring back as little presents and gifts when they returned back to their adopted countries.

    I bought a few bags myself when I went home to the Philippines.

    Macapuno balls are delicious and I thought it would be easy to make some here in London, where it is now easy to get ingredients from supermarkets selling world ingredients.

    Macapuno preserve, is made from young coconut (buko) and can be bought from any Oriental shop also selling Filipino products.

    Macapuno Balls Recipe

     

     

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cans (300 ml each) of condensed milk
    • 1 jar of macapuno preserves (can be home-made)
    • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
    • 2 tbsp water
    • 2 tbsp caster sugar

     

    Method of Preparation:

    1.    A jar of macapuno preserve has a lot of sweetened watery sauce so, it has to be emptied in a bowl and covered with a cheese cloth or a tea towel to absorb the liquid from it or put it on a colander and leave to drain.

    2.    When most of the liquid had gone, add the condensed milk.

    3.    Heat over a low heat for about 10 minutes or so.

    4.    Remove from heat.

    5.    Using a small container, dissolve the cornstarch in a little water and pour onto the macapuno.

    7.    Blend the mixture well.  Then heat it up, again under a low heat and continue to mix until it thickens and separates from the pan.

    8.    Let the macapuno cool down.  Shape them into bite-size ball then lightly roll them into a plate dusted with caster sugar.

    9.    Finally wrap them up in cellophane or trimmed cling film as per photo above.

    Enjoy!

    Caramelised Peanut Recipe

    Whilst walking around Tower Hill, we saw some vendors selling caramelised peanuts. The peanuts looked so yummy so we got some.

    I am not sure if the caramelised peanuts tasted so good because we were hungry or they were really that good. 🙂

    Anyway, slightly warm caramelised peanuts are delicious.  Just the thing after a days of sightseeing.

    Below is a recipe which is very easy to make. I noticed from our local supermarket that there are stocks of raw peanuts going at low prices. So next time I go shopping, they will be added to my shopping trolley.

    Watch this space.

    Caramelised Peanut Recipe

    Caramel Peanuts Photo by PH Morton

    Caramel Peanuts
    Photo by PH Morton

    INGREDIENTS:
    2 cups raw peanuts, shelled
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    1/3 cup water
    pinch of salt
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    1 cup sugar, for rolling in

     

    PREPARATION:

    Using a heavy bottom pan or a wok over a medium heat, combine the water, sugar and peanuts.

    Stir thoroughly until the sugar granules are dissolved.

    Continue to stir until most of the water have evaporated leaving a syrup-like consistency over sandy looking peanuts.  This process would usually take about 10-15 minutes.

    It is important to stir the peanuts around the syrup for two main reasons: it will prevent burning and the syrup will coat the peanuts evenly.  Continue stirring until the peanuts have turned into delicious golden brown.

    Once happy with the look of the peanuts, add the salt and cinnamon.  Give the peanuts a good stir to incorporate the salt and cinnamon.

    Time to remove from the heat.  Add the vanilla and give it another good stir.  Set aside for a minute or two.

    Prepare the baking sheet lining it in tin-foil.  Add the sugar for rolling.

    Put a ladleful of the peanuts in the baking sheet and cover with the sugar, roll it thoroughly in between the peanuts to separate them individually.

    Using a sieve, sift the excess sugar from the peanuts. Put the first batch aside.

    Continue with the rest of the peanuts yet to be rolled and sifted.

    Then time to enjoy these crunchy sweet peanuts.

    If it so happens that there are leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container.

    As most warnings read:  This recipe contains nuts!!! 😉